B&T recently published an article by me on Australia's place in global social media trends. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
The Social Media market place has seen some massive changes over the last year: new platforms, takeovers, rejections, new features, dropped features and more. Screen real estate is now the field of battle for some of the largest and most friendly companies in the world, and the war is taking place across every device we own.
As a mobile developer in this sphere, it is always interesting for me to look behind the scenes, see the data behind these changes and identify the trends.
What’s even more interesting is looking at where Australia stands against the world. Wait… don’t panic! I promise to keep this as stat free as possible!
Let’s take a quick peek at the current world usage stats for Social Media:
Almost straight away you can see that there are big differences across all the different devices we use. For one, in Australia the desktop has a huge amount of Tumblr usage compared to the world average. Another obvious difference is that Australians’ preferred device for Facebook is the tablet while worldwide the trend is lead by mobile.
Australians also run counter to the world trend when it comes to Pinterest use. Twice as many Australians access the social bookmarking site from their mobile devices than do so from tablets. This defies the world usage pattern, which indicates that the tablet is overwhelmingly the preferred device for Pinterest users, with almost three times as many users accessing the site via tablet than mobile.
Before we make assumptions, let’s have a look at the last 12 months in social media trends:
There has been a sharp increase of Tumblr usage on Desktop, Facebook is increasing on Mobile and Tablet, while Pinterest has reversed that trend.
But by all appearances the Australian usage stats show that Australia seems to be ahead of these curves or, perhaps, reacting faster. The question is not so much why is this the case, but what does this information mean to us as marketers?
From a local marketing perspective there are several points to consider:
- Diversity of social media platforms: although we have a dominance of Facebook across all three screens in Australia there are other strong social contenders for our interest such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter.
- Diversity of technology platforms: what we see working locally on one platform can be completely different from another. As marketers this impacts our planning and targeting strategies and how we allocate our budget for each channel. We need to be aware of which device users prefer when engaging with their various social networks
- Rapidity of change: as an example, in Australia where smartphone penetration is over 65%, over the last 12 months Facebook has lost almost 30% of its market share on the desktop browser whilst gaining over 10% on tablets and nearly as much on mobile,
Australia is now at the forefront of social media usage. We are a highly engaged and very socially oriented nation. Moreover, we consistently react very differently from the rest of the world when it comes to changes in the market.
We also react fast.